Fourth and Long: The Legend of Kyle Brotzman

A senior class responsible for setting the stage for future Bronco teams will be playing its final football game on the Blue Turf in Bronco Stadium this Saturday against Utah State. In the midst of all the emotion, a story is developing that is spreading across the nation.

It's January 4th, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona and the Boise State Broncos are facing the #3 TCU Horned Frogs in their second Fiesta Bowl appearance in four years. The game is tied at 10-10 with 9 minutes and 47 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Broncos have the ball on fourth down with nine yards to go in Bronco territory. Kyle Brotzman lines up for the punt. The ball is snapped... and it's a fake! Brotzman passes to Tight End Kyle Efaw for a gain of 29 yards and a Bronco first down!!!

This was the pivotal play that set up the Broncos' next touchdown, putting them up 17-10 as they went on to win the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. It was a play for the history books and surely one that everyone who witnessed will remember forever.

Senior placekicker/punter Kyle Brotzman began his career at Boise State as a walk-on in 2006. Shortly thereafter, he was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award as the best kicker in the nation. He was awarded second-team All-WAC honors in 2007 and was Boise State's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008.

In his first year at Boise State, Brotzman was an honorable mention Freshman All-American selection by The Sporting News. He was named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week after the Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii games, while leading the conference in field goals, field goal percentage and extra points. Kyle finished the season making 16 out of 18 field goals and converting all 66 extra point attempts. Let's not forget, he made two clutch field goals with no time on the clock against Nevada that sent the game into overtime and would eventually lead to a Bronco victory in quadruple overtime that year.

In 2008, Brotzman was named Boise State's Co-Captain of the Year alongside current New York Jet, Kyle Wilson, by vote of teammates. He never missed an extra point in his first two seasons and landed the school record of 118 consecutive extra point attempts. His longest field goal of the season was a 51-yard attempt at Oregon, one of the hardest places in the nation to play a football game as the visiting team. Brotzman was also named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week twice in his second season as a Bronco.

After the 2009 season, Brotzman was named top punter on the All-Bowl Team due to his clutch performance in the Fiesta Bowl. For the second straight year, he led the team in scoring while also leading the conference in scoring and field goals. Kyle averaged 43.89 yards per punt, the fourth best in school history for a single season.

Kyle Brotzman has made 65 field goals over a four-year span, which puts him in third place nationally. Not only has he scored more points in his career than any other active player in NCAA Division I football, but Brotzman also holds Boise State's all-time scoring record. On top of that, he only needs nine more points (three field goals) in his final two games as a Bronco to garner the crown for most points by a kicker in NCAA history.

The 5'-10", 197 pound kicker graduated from Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho where he lettered in football, basketball and soccer. He will graduate from Boise State University with a degree in Business Management.

To show their true support for Brotzman, the Bronco faithful have created a Facebook tribute page, "The Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman", whose membership has eclipsed over 28,000 fans and counting. There have also been several articles published by media outlets such as Yahoo and many sports websites showing their gratitude towards Bronco fans, coaches, players and the community in regards to the vast amount of support and class that has been put on display recently.

So, as Senior Day approaches and Kyle Brotzman steps onto the blue turf for the very last time in a Bronco jersey, everyone should to take a moment to reflect on all the many great things he has done for the program. He has been a vital part of Boise State's success and is a huge factor in the Broncos' accomplishments the past four years. There should be nothing less than a standing ovation and continued sincere support from Bronco Nation come Senior Day and every day to follow.

When all is said and done, two things are for certain - Kyle Brotzman will go down in history as the greatest kicker to ever grace the blue field of Boise State University and the 2010 Boise State Broncos are a team of class and pure greatness.

We are Bronco Nation. United we stand, together we fall, forever we bleed blue.

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